Mike’s Hikes #6: Little Coal Creek Trail/ Inter-Ocean Pass

By Alaina Geibig 6 months agoNo Comments

Little Coal Creek/Inter-Ocean Pass: Sunday, September 20th

Overview: Join Ewelina Bajda on Sunday, September 20th for a perfect early-fall hike up the Inter-Ocean Pass Trail just outside Crawford. Learn about local flora and enjoy hiking at the base of Mt. Lamborn and Coal Mountain, which is adjacent to the larger West Elk Wilderness. The Gunnison Public Land Initiative (GPLI) working group – as well as WSCC – is recommending Mt. Lamborn/Coal Mountain as Wilderness in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest Plan revision process due to its remote location, wildlife habitat, and outstanding wilderness character. Besides the large elk, deer, and black bear populations here, it is also a significant lynx habitat.

Trail Description: From the Inter-Ocean Pass trailhead on the Crawford side, one can go 8 miles over the pass and down the Lone Cabin trailhead of the Inter-Ocean Pass.  On our hike, we’ll be just doing an out and back and go as far and high as we are able. The pass, just below Mt. Lamborn and Coal Mountain, is 9,800 feet.  The Little Coal Creek basin is loaded with aspens, and at this time of the year, it could be glorious. NOTE: this trailhead is difficult to reach with a low clearance car, so depending on where we are able to park, the group may walk an additional 2 miles one way to the trail.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to make it as far as the junction with the Little Elk Basin Trail for some spectacular scenery.

COVID-19 Protocols: Our community is still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will be following all necessary protocols to ensure a safe hike for everyone involved. The following restrictions will be followed at all times throughout the hike:

  • We will have no more than 10 people total on this hike. Please RSVP below.
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from members of other households at all times, except in cases where it is unsafe to maintain that distance. Social distancing (6 ft apart) will be followed at all times with hikers not of the same household
  • Separate cars must be taken to the trailhead
  • Masks must be worn when not actively hiking. Please bring a mask with you on this hike.
  • Hikers will all bring their own equipment, including water, hand sanitizer, and food/snacks. Please aquire all equipment and supplies you might need for the trip prior to arriving for the hike.
  • Do not come on the hike if you feel sick or have symptoms
  • We will follow all Safer at Home and Leave No Trace guidelines

Trip Leader: Nature enthusiast Ewelina Bajda.  She will help identify for the hikers the various flora that can be found along this trail.

Where: Inter-Ocean Pass

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult.  Starting elevation – 7,500 feet at the  National Forest boundary. 7,960 at the Inter Ocean Pass trailhead. Maximum elevation we hike to should just be over 8,000 feet.

When: Sunday, September 20th. We will meet at the WSCC office (204 Poplar Ave.) at 8:00 am OR meet at Crawford Post Office at 8:45am. Please differentiate in the RSVP form below where you plan on meeting us.

We will need to take separate cars – one per family. The drive to the trailhead is roughly an hour, and you can expect 3-4 hours of hiking.

What to bring: Good boots, lots of water, sunscreen, extra layers, hiking pools, snacks, and lunch.

How to get to the trailhead: We’ll drive to Cottonwood Creek Road towards Needle Rock and to the National Forest boundary where we may park the cars. The Little Coal Creek Road at this point becomes a very rough Jeep road for the next 1.5 miles to the Inter-Ocean Pass trailhead.  We’ll most likely walk this section, instead of driving.  But if we chose to take 4-wheel drive/high clearance vehicles we can try to park at the official Inter-Ocean Pass trailhead.

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Only one person per registration entry, please!

Inter-Ocean Pass Mike's Hike Sign-up
  Events, Public Lands
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